I hope you enjoy this little bit of JIM AND JACK, a story aimed at and beta-read by boys ages 12-16. Nine out of ten said they'd read a sequel and would recommend it to friends. The tenth wanted a vampire in it.
When fourteen-year-old Brian Edwards finds a box in the attic filled with old newspaper clippings and a signet ring just like his grandfather’s, he realizes that he’s stumbled across the family secret: Jack.
With Grandpa Jim going into assisted-living, Brian's dad decides that he and Brian should move to the
Brian's present-day story alternates with Jim and Jack's in 1929. When Jim unwittingly decides to pursue his twin's secret crush, Jack retaliates with a series of poor decisions that end in his mysterious death. The stories converge in the last few chapters. When Brian finds out what really happened to Jack, his own troubles are quickly put into perspective, and Grandpa Jim can finally make sense of the past.
At 56,000 words, JIM AND JACK is a younger YA realistic literary mystery which includes a potentially interactive glossary of historical references. I am a sixth grade language-arts teacher working on my master's degree in gifted education, as well as an amateur genealogist. The story is loosely based on actual events that happened in my own family in the early 1900s.
Thank you for your consideration.
JIM AND JACK
Jack awakened early, the island still in slumber except for the songbirds, whose chaotic warbling kept him from rolling over and going back to sleep. He listened for the different voices, identifying first a thrush, then a cardinal and a robin. A mourning dove cooed its gentle trill and he could hear the distant tapping of a woodpecker.
A jay screeched overhead, breaking the peacefulness of the moment. Jack rolled over in the half-light to examine his identical twin, asleep in the other bed. Jim was lying on his side with his mouth slightly open, a light snore issuing softly with each breath.
“Jim!” Jack hissed. His brother remained motionless, pajama-clad legs entangled in the white cotton bedspread.
With a grin, Jack reached over to the desk and tore a corner off some scrap paper. Wadding it up, he tossed it, aiming for Jim’s mouth but missing, the pellet landing instead in the dark curls of his brother’s hair.
Jack sat up and tried again, managing to land the crumpled paper near his twin’s right eye. Jim, still asleep, rubbed his hand against his brow, but fell back to deeper slumber. Jack aimed his third try more carefully, and the paper landed right in Jim’s mouth.
The results were impressive. Jack gaped as Jim sat bolt upright, choking, an expression of confusion and consternation on his face. Coughing the offending wad into his hand, he shot an accusing look at Jack. “What was that for?” he demanded, bleary eyed.